Mindfully Living Your Core Values

Here’s the thing about core values – we all have them.

The question is do we understand what they are, define what they mean, and (here’s the hard part) mindfully live them.

I’m pretty sure you’ve been given this advice before, but let’s get serious about it.

How to discover your core values

Give yourself the time and space to think deeply about this idea. You need to be present and honest and sometimes that means choosing when you do this kind of work. For me, that’s almost always in the morning.

  1. Now, download thisĀ little values worksheet that includes a long list of values.
  2. Go through the list and circle ones that resonate
  3. Go back through and group like values. (caring and giving might be like kindness)
  4. Choose the five most important values that you believe define your best you.

Testing your core values

After you have your list of 5 it’s time to test them out. Make sure you print the list big and bold and place it where you can see it often both at home and at work. Now, pay attention throughout the day to how you live or don’t live these values. It’s very easy to add things to your list that “should be” there or that you are “working on” but that’s not the point. The point is to discover who you really are and live that more fully.

I don’t think that means that you simply conclude you aren’t living the values you’ve been told are important, it means, perhaps for the first time in your life that you’ve tapped into something meaningful about yourself.

Living your core values

Now the hard part – some values just show up and would never be violated – you don’t lie, you don’t steal, you don’t put others down – that kind of thing. But what about curiosity, simplicity, adventure? How do values like that show up?

Here are ways to keep your values front and center

  1. Plan your day around values – take a look at what you have in store for the day. How can you bring your values to every task, every meeting, every decision? Put your values in your calendar, on your to-do list, and in your thinking throughout the day.
  2. Check-in during the day – Take a break midday and evaluate how you’re doing – don’t judge, just stay or get back on track.
  3. Review your day in the evening – If you have an evening ritual that includes gratitude then include a review of your day and maybe even set an intention for the next day.

Of course, it’s more than a day at a time. It starts by planning your week and setting your goals based on living your core values and focusing on what brings your joy and happiness as a tool to be far more productive every day.

My core values

This is my list and I try to live them every day. I have a page printed and hanging in my office. Sometimes they feel like aspirations (particularly that kindness one) but are who I am whether I’m living them fully or not.

  1. Love
  2. Hope
  3. Curiosity
  4. Kindness
  5. Adventure

This is simply my list and how I choose to live it is personal to my journey. There are no right values or set of values you can copy – it’s totally up to living your truth.

Now it’s your turn.